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Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire
Ascender, Volume 2: The Dead Sea by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
Bait and Witch by Angela M. Sanders
Black Canary: Ignite by Meg Cabot and Cara McGee
Clues to the Universe by Christina Li
Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 6 by Ryoko Kui
Five Unicorn Flush by T.J. Berry
Ghost-Spider, Volume 2: Party People by Seanan McGuire and Ig Guara (Illustrations)
Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant
The Haunting of Rookward House by Darcy Coates
Hide and Seek by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle and Emily Jenkins
The Hound of Florence by Felix Salten
Legend in Green Velvet by Elizabeth Peters
Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
Magic and Macaroons by Bailey Cates
The Meet-Cute Project by Rhiannon Richardson
Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke
Mistletoe Man by Susan Wittig Albert
My Almost Flawless Tokyo Dream Life by Rachel Cohn
No Such Thing as Ghosts by Ursula Vernon
Oh My Gods! by Stephanie Cooke, Insha Fitzpatrick, and Juliana Moon (Illustrations)
On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle (re-read)
Roman and Jewel by Dana L. Davis
Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella
Sky Island by L. Frank Baum
Something Borrowed by Richelle Mead
Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade
Spore by Alex Scarrow
Stella's Stellar Hair by Yesenia Moises
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
Winter of Secrets by Vicki Delany

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Mighty Jack and the Goblin King: 01/14/21

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King by Ben Hatke is the sequel to Mighty Jack (2016). With Jack and Lilly climbing up the remains of their garden, one can expect a variation on the Jack and the Bean Stalk tale. The goal, here, though, isn't a golden egg laying goose, it's the rescue of Maddy, Jack's sister.

The title meanwhile implies that Jack will be going head to head with the Goblin King. Instead, there's a turn of events that gives Lilly a chance to be the hero. This is the volume where Lilly gets to shine and show off the skills she was hinted at having in the first volume.

This volume ends up being an homage of sorts to Labyrinth if it had been directed or designed by Terry Gilliam. Maddy takes the place of Toby, except she's much older and potentially more capable of taking action than an almost toddler. She's there to recharge the castle and continues to be little more than a prop in the form of a selectively mute maiden in distress.

Chart showing the placement of the two books on the road narrative spectrum.

Like the first book, volume two sits on the road narrative spectrum. Where the first one is fantasy because of the sibling travelers, this one is horror because of the change in traveler. While Jack's goal is still to reunite with Maddy, his sister, and while she has also traveled (via kidnapping) to this other world, the travelers with any sort of agency are Jack and Lilly. Together they work as a couple (33), though not as a romantic one.

The goal or destination for both is home (66). It's to return home. In the case of Jack and Maddy, it's also to save their home from foreclosure. Their route, is once again the cornfield. It's a metaphoric one, represented by the seeds they use and the vine they climb.

The third book is Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl (2019).

Four stars

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